Christian Sesma’s latest features an ensemble cast and has plenty of action and twists in the story that makes the viewer engaged.
Jake Atherton is a former soldier whose earned the respect of his commanding officer, Tom Mason. Upon his return home, he works at a garage run by his older brother Earl and is happily living a life with wife Ashton and son Weston. However, one day a group led by Fresh attempts to shake down the garage. Jake fights them off but in retaliation, Jake is shocked when he returns home. Ashton and Weston are shot dead. An angry Jake kills Fresh and his men, resulting in his imprisonment.
Serving a life sentence, Jake is given a shot at both freedom and redemption when he meets Ramsey. Ramsey is the head of a secret operative group called Section 8. Jake reluctantly takes the job and is given an initiation which he passes. He soon begins to learn that Section 8 is not all it’s cracked up to be. After refusing to kill a target, Jake becomes the target, and he must rely on help from his former C.O. With nothing left to lose, how far will Jake go to stop Section 8?
Christian Sesma is an indie director who has delved in making action films and keeping the genre alive. His latest film is a thriller about a shady government agency who does illicit missions and their latest recruit, who discovers the truth behind the company. The film’s script by Chad Law and Josh Ridgway meshes flashbacks of our hero’s past as a soldier with a two-part aftermath, one involving the murder of his family and his entry into the titular government agency.
The ensemble cast of the film is great in this one. Ryan Kwanten makes for a good action hero in ex-soldier Jake, who is hailed as a hero but finds a job at an auto shop run by big brother Earl, played by the legendary Mickey Rourke. Rourke doesn’t provide action but instead has a monologue where like Jake, he looks to find himself in a better place after having worked as a financial broker and has found it in the garage. Dolph Lundgren sporadically appears in both flashbacks and present day as Mason, Jake’s commanding officer and reliable ally when things start to go a bit downhill.
Dermot Mulroney brings in a smarmy villain in Ramsey, the leader of the titular Section 8. When we meet him, he seems all good natured, even when it is clear he has this mastermind persona to the role. The team is comprised of the hot-headed Axel, played by Justin Furtenfeld; Liza, a somewhat good-natured member who bonds well with Jake, played by Tracy Perez; and Leonard Locke, an ace martial artist played by the iconic Scott Adkins, who gets an introduction scene at a casino where he does what he does best: kick butt and take names.
Luke LaFontaine does a great job with the action scenes. While there is plenty of firepower, the unarmed combat is great to watch. Kwanten uses a close quarter combat style, similar to Krav Maga while Adkins uses his trademark kicks but adds a bit more grounded combat form as well. Overall, this a great effort from Sesma and his team worth checking out.
Section 8 is a pretty good film that complements and action and story elements well. Ryan Kwanten and the ensemble cast do a great job keeping the film going and the action is quite exciting as well.
WFG RATING: B
RLJE Films presents a Firebrand production. Director: Christian Sesma. Producer: Brandon Burrows. Writers: Chad Law and Josh Ridgway. Cinematography: Robert Polgar and Anthony J. Rickert-Epstein. Editing: Eric Potter.
Cast: Ryan Kwanten, Dolph Lundgren, Dermot Mulroney, Scott Adkins, Mickey Rourke, Tracy Perez, Robert LaSardo, Maurice Compte, Geoffrey Blake, Paul Sloan, Justin Furstenfeld, Kimi Alexander.
The film will hit select theaters and stream exclusively on AMC+ on September 23rd.